ActiveVideo's CloudTV Technology to Power Interactive TV on Funai Electric Connected-TV Devices

--Funai Manufactures Connected TV's and Blu-ray Players for Philips, Emerson, Magnavox and Sylvania

Cloud-based interactive TV specialist, ActiveVideo Networks, whose customers include New York-area MSO Cablevision, has racked up its first major customer win in the consumer electronics/OTT space--a market that it has been targeting for some time now. The company said Tuesday that it has signed a deal with Funai Electric that will make the latter the first consumer electronics manufacturer to bring interactive TV solutions, based entirely in the network cloud, to connected-TV devices. Funai manufactures TV's and Blu-ray players that are sold under the Philips, Emerson, Magnavox and Sylvania brands. Funai and ActiveVideo say that they expect to make an announcement "regarding availability of CloudTV-enabled products...in the near future."

The companies' new deal calls for Funai to integrate support for ActiveVideo's CloudTV platform into "selected" TV and Blu-ray player makes and models, where the companies say it will enable a user experience in which Web-based video, rich graphics and interactive applications are streamed--rather than downloaded--from servers in the network to those devices. "As consumers demand more from their television experience, there is a growing need for the limitless resources that can expand interactivity beyond the device-based widgets found in many of today's connected TV's and other devices," ActiveVideo president and CEO, Jeff Miller, said in a prepared statement. "Funai's embrace of CloudTV places it squarely at the leading edge of a new generation of television technology and opens the door wide to content developers who are interested in reaching television audiences."

ActiveVideo bills its CloudTV technology, which it says has to date been deployed in around 5 million cable and IPTV homes in the US and internationally, as allowing Web content creators, TV networks, advertisers and other media entities to quickly develop TV content and applications using standard Web tools. According to the company, content is delivered as a single, adaptable MPEG stream to the end-user's CE device, which passes keyclicks from standard remote controls back into the cloud. ActiveVideo claims that the technology offers CE manufacturers and developers a range of benefits, including elimination of the need for heavy-duty--and thus expensive--processing and storage capabilities in the CE device; a "one-platform" approach in which content and applications can be written once and delivered to any device; and the minimization of software bugs due to the fact that content is streamed, rather than downloaded, to the TV. Meanwhile, ActiveVideo claims, placing intelligence in the network, rather than the home, benefits consumers, in that it ensures "maximum functionality throughout the lengthy lifespans that are typical of CE devices, even as Web standards evolve."

ActiveVideo plans to demo its CloudTV technology working with Funai devices at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. The demo's will be held at the Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel, adjacent to the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

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